When exploring the range of technologies spawned by the development of the e-commerce industry, it is impossible not to pay closer attention to the term “mobile commerce.”
What is it? What does m-commerce have to do with e-commerce? And what is the difference between ecommerce and mcommerce?
Let’s answer these questions!
In our previous articles, we discussed the concept of e-commerce, and addressed the advantages and disadvantages of this industry. Both e-commerce and m-commerce revolve around online commerce and include the following aspects:
E-commerce includes all financial and commercial transactions carried out using computer networks and the business processes associated with such transactions. In a broad sense, this is any company or business that has something to sell, whether it’s physical goods and services, over the Internet.
M-commerce is a part of the e-commerce industry, an extension formed by the popularity of mobile devices and various mobile apps.
With the advent of e-commerce, we no longer had to go to the store — we could just use the computer. With the advent of m-commerce, we no longer even need to log on to a computer — we can simply use our smartphone, which is always at hand.
M-commerce is a part of e-commerce. Any and all transactions made on mobile devices, smartphones, tablets and any other portable devices that allow you to make purchases — this is m-commerce in action.
The term “mobile commerce” was first used by Kevin Duffy at the Global Mobile Commerce Forum in 1997. He defined it as “an e-commerce opportunity delivered directly to people using wireless technologies everywhere.”
Naturally, m-commerce has been a significant step forward for furthering development of the entire e-commerce industry. Because the convenience of transactions made using wireless devices means not only an increase in the number of sales, but also entirely new opportunities for the online commerce industry.
Let’s cut to the chase — here are some specific examples illustrating the power of m-commerce:
In 2011, the Royal Bank of Scotland launched the world’s first full-featured banking app. At first, mobile banking was only available for Apple devices, but soon became available for BlackBerry and Android users.
These days, you can’t surprise anyone with contactless public transport tickets or concert tickets. But in 2006, the world’s first e-ticketing concert by Guns N’ Roses generated huge interest.
In 2007, Kenya launched the M-Pesa app and became the first country in the world to introduce mobile transfers.
It is hard to imagine life in 2022 without the possibility of online payments. In just a few decades, e-commerce has been actively integrated into our lives, globally changing the way the world thinks about the process of making purchases.
M-commerce is not a replacement for e-commerce, and certainly isn’t a “mini-version” of it. This is a format with unique advantages. Of course, for some, the development of mobile commerce is just the ability to browse catalogs on a portable device. But if you own a business, you should understand what benefits m-commerce brings to your customers as well as yourself.
More than half of consumers prefer mobile online-shopping because it is more efficient and saves time. Even when shopping in a physical store, shoppers use their mobile devices to compare prices and read reviews.
The convenience, comfort, and time saved due to mobile shopping have become an obvious reason for the significant increase in sales made using mobile devices. In 2020, mobile commerce sales were $339 billion.
Why did the development of e-commerce become such a revolutionary step in the economy, fundamentally changing the scheme of interaction between the seller and the buyer?
First, it is worth noting that online transactions have captured a massive layer of people around the world, those who couldn’t shop in physical stores for various reasons.
E-commerce has become an impetus for the development of many small businesses — the technology allows them the opportunity to capture new markets and regions.
Another benefit of e-commerce is the cost savings, as companies don’t have to maintain brick-and-mortar stores.
On the downside, it’s worth noting the reduction in face-to-face interaction with the buyer, the occasional glitches in technology, and the lack of physical testing and verification of goods before purchase.
Mobile commerce has all the above advantages and disadvantages, but we must highlight its more flexible nature compared to e-commerce. An improved user interface and a wide range of payment options are just some of its benefits.
As for the disadvantages, we can include all the limitations associated with using mobile devices instead of a computer: screen size, unstable Internet connection, problems with wireless network security, etc.
Although the fundamental principles are the same for both the regular and mobile Internet, there are still differences between e-commerce and mobile commerce. Let’s take a closer look at them.
The traditional definition of e-commerce includes the process of transacting online using computers and laptops. Naturally, this requires customers to find a specific place to shop because even a laptop is not very convenient to use anywhere.
M-commerce allows you to make transactions literally anywhere with just a few taps on your smartphone screen and using mobile payment.
2. Location tracking
The ability to track geolocation when using non-mobile devices is quite limited. But m-commerce apps can track and locate users using GPS technology, Wi-Fi, etc.What business opportunities does having the ability of location tracking provide? You will be able to deliver location-specific content and personalized recommendations and discounts for your customers.
Customer concerns about online security remain one of the top e-commerce concerns. Let’s face it — even today, many people are afraid to enter their credit card numbers on web apps, which is an integral part of any process of buying.
E-commerce already offers features such as two-factor authentication and multi-level authentication, which are also available in m-commerce.
But besides this, m-commerce can also offer its users biometric authentication (through face identification or fingerprints).
4. Individual approach to customers
Mobile apps provide a great opportunity for business owners to engage their users in more regular interaction. We are talking about push notifications. When used wisely, this is a great tool for quickly alerting customers to new offers and getting closer to your audience. Push notifications allow you to keep close contact with the clientele because smartphones are almost always next to their owners.
5. Service quality
Using the capabilities of m-commerce helps create customized offers for the audience, and tools such as chatbots make it much easier for companies to interact with the client. Further integration of AI functions into mobile applications will continue providing more personalized purchases, effective interaction with customers and protection against fraud.
6. Variety of payment options
With the advent of m-commerce, buyers have a wide choice of payment solutions.
We are no longer limited with only the ability to pay by card or cash upon receipt. Mobile wallets such as Apple Pay, PayPal, WebMoney, etc., allow you to pay with one click in numerous stores and do not require you to enter card details for each new transaction.
7. Accessibility and convenience
As we have said, the possibilities of m-commerce are expanding due to the use of mobile devices for transactions. The accessibility and convenience of mobile commerce applications obviously leads to ever-widening reach and audience growth.
8. Marketing Opportunities
In addition to push notifications, m-commerce provides many other opportunities for business promotion. For example, exclusive promos and discounts only available through mobile apps, special prices for registered customers, free shipping, etc.
The transition to mobile is a natural consequence of the expansion of the e-commerce industry. Accessibility, convenience, mobility, and speed of online shopping are attracting an ever-larger audience of buyers. If you want to keep up with the times and take your business to the next level, creating a mobile app is a significant step in the right direction, and Intexsoft specialists will help you along the way. Contact us for a free consultation!